How is everyone doin’?! How is the weather up there? How are the lovebirds? How goes wedding prep? How goes mission prep for Alice? How goes all that other stuff that happens? These are all rhetorical questions, by the way. I kinda already know all the answers-- Good, cold, good, good, great, good.
So it has been a very busy past week! We have been having a great time here in Valle Hermoso. It was a lot harder to leave Talca Centro than I ever thought it would be. All the hot, long, hard, sad stuff and hot days there seem to, dare I say it, melt together, and now I just remember all the great members and Elder Ulibarri, and that house, and all the great times there. It was sad to leave everyone, the bishop, Fabiola’s family, a few others, but I feel really good about how I left it. They should be having some good success here soon. Finally.
So on Monday, we ran around all day saying bye to everyone. Renato and his family had ordered a cake and written my name on it and stuff! It was great to see that the members have really seen the effort we have put in here and that we are appreciated even though it’s been super hard. My bike got a flat tire all the way out there by his house and then we had to get to Fabiola’s-- it was terrible. I was SOAKED in sweat when we got there but classic Fabiola had our clothes and made me go change. So it was all good.
Tuesday morning, we made breakfast burritos and headed out. It was sad to leave but super exciting. I got to Conce at about noon, and we spent the rest of the afternoon until about four getting the house ready. Brand new house for us, so we had to put all the beds in, fridge, tank of gas, shelves, etc. It’s been tough stuff. But great. Elder Saenz is a champ-- really nice guy, into Reggae a ton, rap, stuff like that. He teaches really well and talks with absolutely EVERYONE he sees about the gospel. And he will NOT take no for an answer. We have gotten into tons of houses of old people just because they finally gave in after like 7 times saying no. Doesn’t usually pay off but it did one time-- we met Monica and she is starting to progress, married to a Menos Activo and has a daughter!
Valle Hermoso is beautiful-- there are tons and tons of hills here, and I love it! It is super pretty, the ward here is about twice the size of Talca Centro, all the members are great, they all want to help us and want to give us references, we have two more missionaries (zone leaders, none the less) to help us here, starting a new zone, and everyone is excited, and we have big plans. It is great! I feel like President was just messin’ with me, stickin’ me in Talca Centro forever to help me learn some humility and give me some good hard times, and now we are gonna start reapin’ the blessings of all that hard work and obedience there. I am super excited.
For this week, we have two baptisms planned—one is Christopher, who is 16 and has smoking problems. We have been fasting with him, and he fasted and loved it, and he is great. I am so glad to be here with him. Also, we have Patricia, the mom of a recent convert youth who is now preparing for a mission. She is also great. So they have interviews this week and should be ready for Saturday! We also found a great guy, Julian, who is a Marine and used to live in North Carolina! Great family--he has two daughters, 14 and 15, as well. We also have been finding other news--so this sector is rising from the ashes, the zone is gonna be great, we are with the varsity zone leaders (Elder Rees is the greatest and we get along really well). I am super excited.
We have had a lot of cool experiences this week-- met some good people, some crazy old people, eaten lots and lots of food from the members, super good stuff. They are way better cooks here than they were in Talca, and the people are in a lot better shape. Probably because there are so many hills. My camera thing is being weird, so I’ll send my pictures next week. But this place is the prettiest.
How is everyone? How is Allie? Getting ready? It is super hard to send letters from here, we have to go to Conce, but I will try to send one next week. I am pumped to be here, though--we are now really close to Concepcion, which is awesome. We were at the mission office all morning and have been having a great time with all the elders I haven’t seen for a while. Good times. Also, packages and mail receiving is gonna be about two weeks now! Wahoo!!!!!
Have a great week! Love you all!